Definition of plea bargaining in English:

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plea bargaining

Pronunciation: /ˈplē ˌbärɡəniNG/


An arrangement between a prosecutor and a defendant whereby the defendant pleads guilty to a lesser charge in the expectation of leniency.
Example sentences
  • The guilty plea procedure is sometimes the result of plea-bargaining between the prosecution and defence counsel.
  • We have people who are so overwhelmed that they have to reduce the sentences by plea-bargaining.
  • Pilot schemes saw several benefits, including a reduction in plea-bargaining and downgrading of charges, and an increase in early guilty pleas.



Example sentences
  • If I'd been a habitual offender - the kind of driver for whom traffic court was designed - I probably wouldn't have gotten to plea-bargain.
  • By the time Jesse came to plea-bargain, the jury already knew his father had confessed to it and he had no supporting witnesses.
  • They plea-bargained for the easy, cheaper option.

plea bargain

Example sentences
  • At the time of the appellants' trial, negotiations for a plea bargain were well advanced but not complete.
  • The consequences of the plea bargain were borne entirely by the defendant, but the trial threatened disaster for the lawyer.
  • They decide whether to take a case to trial or to offer a plea bargain to avoid trial.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: plea bar·gain·ing

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